Free Press Journal

Prince George leads royal name popularity surge in UK


Prince George

London: George has leaped in popularity as a baby name in the UK after the birth of the UK’s third in line to the throne in July 2013 while his father, William, lost out in the contest by dropping two places. The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that royal names continued their surge in 2014 with George leaping three places to seventh position.

His father, William, lost out in the popularity contest by dropping two places to No 10. Oliver and Amelia topped baby names for boys and girls born in England and Wales last year, according to the latest figures.

Muhammed was the most popular boys’ name in London but Amelia was the firm favourite throughout the country. Aisha showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 18 places to 75.

The birth earlier this year of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby girl, Princess Charlotte, is likely to give the name a boost when the 2015 figures are published next year.

Last year, Charlotte slipped two places to number 23. The popularity of names in the UK is hugely influenced by royal figures or celebrities and by the religious, cultural or ethnic identities of parents to a lesser degree.

Over the past decade, the biggest boy risers in the top 100 were Dexter, up 335 places to 73, Joey, up 281 places to 97, Teddy, up 229 places to 66, Ollie, up 181 places to 74 and Austin, up 164 places to 89.

Isla has shot up 165 places since 2004 to gain the No 3 slot, while Ava rose 147 places to No 6. But in the current top 100, Harper is the girl’s na e that has gained most popularity over the decade, shooting up to No 89 following football star David and Victoria Beckham’s daughter named Harper.

The ONS analysis shows some names also appear to be influenced by more short-term factors. Among girls’ names Holly – ranked 39th overall – was the fifth most popular choice in December last year but only 23rd in January. The name Summer – ranked 58 over the year – reached number 25 in June last year but had plummeted to 105th by December.